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4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster
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4 3 2 1: A Novel (original 2017; edition 2018)

by Paul Auster (Author)

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8413516,138 (3.82)53
Member:adam.koprowski
Title:4 3 2 1: A Novel
Authors:Paul Auster (Author)
Info:Picador (2018), Edition: Reprint, 880 pages
Collections:To read
Rating:
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4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster (2017)

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English (27)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Well, that was a monster. Never less than readable and always provoking this is a giant novel in all ways. As much a meditation on the quantum possibilities of a life as the ways in which a novelist can consider and capture these possibilities. Auster is absolutely at the top of his game here, equal parts self-obsessed and opening up a vein (several veins) for his readers. This was bloody good reading. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. It is original and all four versions of Ferguson are compelling. If you're hesitant to pick this one up, because of its length, it doesn't read like an 880 page novel. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
This is the story of Archibald Ferguson. This story follows 4 different versions of Archibald. 4 paraellel universes in which his life goes in varied ways. Family fortunes change. A parent dies. Or they get divorced. Or they are rich. Or they are not. But the one consistent is a girl named Amy Schneiderman. His relationship with her varies depending on which universe he is in, but he is always in love with her in one form or another. We follow Archibald from birth to death in his harrowing novel.

This book was terrible. I struggled to get through it, but was determined to finish it to see if it was worth it. It was not. The main character was not likable. The book was vulgar. It was boring. IT droned on and on about.....nothing. Just a tedious read, and it has sucked up 2 weeks of my time that I will never get back.

Skip this one all together. Even Paul Auster's fans didn't like it much. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
This is the story of Archibald Ferguson. This story follows 4 different versions of Archibald. 4 paraellel universes in which his life goes in varied ways. Family fortunes change. A parent dies. Or they get divorced. Or they are rich. Or they are not. But the one consistent is a girl named Amy Schneiderman. His relationship with her varies depending on which universe he is in, but he is always in love with her in one form or another. We follow Archibald from birth to death in his harrowing novel.



This book was terrible. I struggled to get through it, but was determined to finish it to see if it was worth it. It was not. The main character was not likable. The book was vulgar. It was boring. IT droned on and on about.....nothing. Just a tedious read, and it has sucked up 2 weeks of my time that I will never get back.



Skip this one all together. Even Paul Auster's fans didn't like it much.

( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
I'm quite divided on this novel. Let's start with the good.

It is a monumental novel that brings to life the main characters supplying ample context. The prose is beautiful, yet easy to read. The main subject, the different paths a human life could take from the same starting point, is of course not very new or mind blowing, but interesting nonetheless. I personally can really enjoy stories that are told in a non-linear way and with many characters, so I enjoyed the structure here as well.

On the bad side. First, I think it is just too long. My copy ran about 900 pages. It is not for me to tell an author what to leave in and what not, but for me as a reader it was just too much. Also, the constant switching between the different lives of Archie was too confusing for me. It is one thing when an author intertwines several threads with their own characters into one overarching novel, but having the same characters with the same names, but different histories and subtly different personalities? I just couldn't manage it, had to repeatedly thumb back to the previous chapter for this life and it left me feeling like an inadequate reader. Note taking could help, I guess. Or maybe to have a tiny summary of the preceding at the start of each chapter? Just as a reminder of which Archie, which Amy, which parents we are reading about here.

Summarising, I would say that I enjoyed the read, but in hindsight should have taken some note to support my own reading. I could be that the blurring of memories from one life into the other was the purpose, but it didn't add much for me.

Also, I was left with many questions. As there is no clear point where the four stories split (other than birth), it left me asking why? Why did one Archie turn out the way he does and not the others? The only answer I can see is that life is so turbulent that anything can happen, caused by the tiniest differences (chaos theory). But then still: which differences. And why 4 stories and not a gazillion? And why only split at birth? Why not have life 1 and 2 in chapter one and a 1.1 and 1.2 and a 2.1 and 2.2 after that. Of course, I wouldn't want the book to be a billion pages, but these thoughts remain totally unexplored. ( )
  teunduynstee | Jan 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Tot ongeveer pagina 850 kon ik geen genoeg krijgen van dit boek. Het is het verhaal van Ferguson’s leven, maar dan vier keer opgeschreven, met kleine variaties. Door toevalligheden worden de verschillen groter naarmate hij ouder wordt. In alle versies is hij verliefd op Amy. Hij scheelt maar drie maanden met Amy en zij zit daardoor een klas hoger. In het ene verhaal is het zijn stiefzus en in de andere versie een nichtje. Hij gaat naar verschillende universiteiten of hij gaat naar Parijs. Aan het eind wordt het verhaal erg gedetailleerd met lijsten van films over zelfmoord. Maar ook over de top 100 van boeken om te lezen, die zijn stiefvader Gil hem meegeeft naar Parijs. Of de redenen waarom Celia Federman hem zal verlaten...lees verder >
 
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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E così nacque Ferguson, e per diversi secondi, una volta uscito dal corpo di sua madre, fu l'essere umano più giovane sulla faccia della terra.
… capì che la musica era il cuore, l'espressione più piena del cuore umano, e ora che aveva udito ciò che aveva udito, cominciava a udire meglio, e meglio udiva, più profondamente sentiva – a volte così profondamente che il suo corpo tremava.
… il nonno di Ferguson andò da Didi sulla Sessantatreesima Est, si infilò a letto con lei e subì l'immenso infarto coronarico che lo uccise proprio mentre eiaculava per l'ultima volta nella sua vita movimentata, pasticciona e in gran parte piacevole. "La petite mort" e "la grande mort" a dieci secondi di distanza una dall'altra – venire e andare nell'arco di tre brevi respiri.
… lo stesso "spazio vuoto" di cui aveva parlato Vivian quando aveva descritto come si era sentita dopo aver finito il suo libro. Non vuoto nel senso di trovarsi sola in una stanza senza mobili, ma nel senso di sentirsi svuotata. Sì, esatto, svuotata come può esserlo una donna dopo aver partorito. Ma in questo caso era un bambino senza vita, un neonato che non sarebbe mai cambiato né cresciuto e non avrebbe imparato a camminare, perché i libri vivevano dentro di te solo finché li scrivevi, ma una volta usciti, erano consumati e morti.
… il telegramma azzurro con la notizia nera che sua madre era inciampata e caduta per le scale di casa a Montréal ed era morta a sessant'anni.
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Book description
Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.
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"Paul Auster's greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel -- a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson's life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson's pleasures and ache from each Ferguson's pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson's life rushes on. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force. "--… (more)

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